Albert Alcalay was born in Paris in 1917, a son of Samuel and Lepa Alcalay, both of whom were born in Yugoslavia (Serbia). On the eve of the outbreak of World War I, his banker father had been moved from Belgrade to Paris, and when the war ended, the family returned to Belgrade. There, whilst attending secondary school, young Albert was apprenticed to an artist. At that time, he began studying architecture. When World War II started, he joined the Yugoslavian army.
It was not long before Yugoslavia surrendered and he became a prisoner of war where he was imprisoned in the Ferramonti internment camp. Upon regaining freedom he settled in Rome, where he began painting. In 1951, he and his wife Vera, moved to the United States. He had his first individual show at the Swetzoff Gallery in 1952. In 1959, he was a Guggenheim Fellow. He taught at Harvard University, from 1960 to 1982. Alcalay’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, the Museum of Modern Art in Rome, Colby College, Simmons College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, among others. He lived on Martha's Vineyard.
- 2008 "Albert Alcalay: Self Portraits", Fort Worth Modern 
- 2009 Remembering Albert Alcalay, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts 
- Bryan Marquard (April 27, 2008). "Albert Alcalay; noted painter survived Holocaust". The Boston Globe.
- Albert Alcalay - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Archived September 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Albert Alcalay, Prominent Contemporary Artist, Dies - 5/9/08 - Vineyard Gazette Online
- The Martha's Vineyard Times - Art: Artist Alcalay celebrates grand 89th
- 'Albert Alcalay: Self Portraits' at the Fort Worth Modern | Art&Seek | Arts, Music, Culture for North Texas
- Remembering Albert Alcalay | Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts | Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts | VISUAL ARTS | ArtsBoston.org
- "Oral history interview with Albert Alcalay, 1979 Jan. 17-Oct. 19", Archives of American Art